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CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: …affects mostly women!

Corrupt practices exist around the world; it is like a canker-worm that delights in feeding on its host without minding what the host is going through. Corruption is being dishonest for personal gain and at the expense of others; corruption defiles a country. Apart from sports, one other thing that unites Nigerian citizens is the war against corruption. Corruption has been generally accepted as evil and responsible for the nation’s gross underdevelopment. With such high amount of human and material resources abounding in the country, it was believed that Nigeria was supposed to be counted among the first twenty industrialized nations in the world.

Corrupt practices have to do with fraudulent activity especially the siphoning of funds that are meant for the general populace for one’s aggrandizement only. Right from the beginning, corruption has been a vermin that has been killing and discouraging Nigeria from moving up or welcoming new innovations. Gone are the days when merit, ability, honesty and transparency, as I understand, have meaning in the Nigerian government. The likes of Pa Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, General Murtala Muhammed, Tunde Idiagbon (all of blessed memory) would never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria for being leaders with proven records of achievement.

Corruption is a canker worm that has eaten deep in the fabric of the nation. It ranges from petty corruption to political / bureaucratic corruption or Systemic corruption (International Center for Economic Growth, 1999). World Bank studies put corruption at over $1 trillion per year accounting for up to 12% of the Gross Domestic Product of nations like Nigeria, Kenya and Venezuela (Nwabuzor, 2005).

WOMEN NEEDS A FAIR DEAL

The herm of affairs is usually occupied by the men and because of that, women are the ones that are mostly affected by corruption, this is part of the reason why it is said that poverty wears the face of a woman and part of what causes POVERTY is CORRUPTION. Until corruption is fought to a standstill, women will not have a fair deal. In the field of politics and decision making, corruption denies women a level playing field necessary for participation on grounds of merit. In the last general elections held in Nigeria in April 2011, International Federation of Women lawyers (FIDA) came across a number of cases where names of women who had legitimately won primaries in their parties were replaced with those of their male counterparts. It is accepted that better access to justice for women can be achieved through greater representation in the political and decision making process. This is still a problem in most countries of the sub-Saharan region where the 30% representation of women as recommended by the Protocol is still a mirage. Women need an opportunity to be part of the reform process.

UNRAVELING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA IS A TUG OF WAR

In bid for Journalist to access information and unravel the sources of corruption in Nigeria that has led to the gross underdevelopment, has led to the assassination of a lot of Nigerian journalist. On Sunday, September 20, 2009, the list of murdered Nigerian journalists grew with the shooting, in Lagos, of Bayo Ohu, an assistant political editor with The Guardian. The assailants invaded Mr. Ohu’s home early in the morning, shot him several times, and waited to make sure he was dead before they left, taking his laptop and cell phone with them. In October, 2006, Omololu Falobi, former features editor of The Punch who was until his death the executive director of Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) was killed in his car while going home in the Alakuko area of Lagos, amongst other deaths.

Putting structures like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nigeria isn’t enough, it is however important for those structures to begin to yield more results in terms of convictions of offenders. This will certainly serve as a boost in the war against corruption by reason of its deterrent effect. It’s necessary to show that everyone is subject to the law.

In conclusion, the keys to effectively managing corruption in any society are honesty and integrity, effective leadership and governance, transparency and accountability, because without such measures in place corrupt leaders cannot wage an effective war against corruption.

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous new media and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders. World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most unheard regions of the world.

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Comments

ikirimat's picture

Women should lead and mange our nations

You said it well , corruption is the greatest evil even in my country. Its so astonishing that it is the women and children who suffer most and yet they are the least corrupt. A reason women should get on the drivers seat.

Otherwise its a well written piece of Op-Ed

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


treasureland's picture

Thanks dear!

Thank you Ikirimat for your comment, women and children are indeed the most affected by the act of corruption and they are really passionate to be involved in getting it curbed. All they need is an opportunity to do so.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

ikirimat's picture

Quick reminder

Just remember to add /paste the text at the end of your article.
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that.........

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


treasureland's picture

Big Hugs Ikirimat!

Thank you so much for your observation and for reminding me. I just pasted it.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

Stella Paul's picture

Corruption is the biggest demon

Dear Ife

In India we are fighting for an anti-corruption law for decades, the fight has intensified of late. But cutting the partyline, politicians are blocking the efforts. And that's what is the biggest roadblock on the way to India's real growth and equal distribution of wealth. You have raised a tropical issue. May Nigeria far well in its fight against corruption. Love

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

treasureland's picture

Yaa, demon indeed!

Stella Paul, you were correct when you said corruption was a demon, indeed it is. We all must standup and speak against corruption and corrupt practices especially as it concerns women.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

WILDKat's picture

Queering Corruption

Bravely, you are gathering revealers to stand up, speak up.

Naturally grateful,
Kat Haber

"Know thyself." ~ Plato

treasureland's picture

Thank WILDkat!

We all need to standup and speak against corruption.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

usha kc's picture

Corruption is eating all over

Corruption is eating all over the world sista and yes my country also is not exceptional. I love you have written on this issue.

great!

treasureland's picture

Eating indeed!

Usha kc, Corruption is indeed eating deep into the world. We all must speak and ACT against it.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture

Great Topic

Hi Treasureland,

This is a great topic to bring up! Corruption affects so many countries, especially those that are blessed with natural resources like Nigeria. Are there any organizations fighting corruption in Nigeria? I see you used a poster for this article that seems to demonstrate a fight against corruption, but not sure the organization is mentioned? It would be great to have some solutions in here, or suggestions of what everyday citizens can do to fight corruption.

Keep up the good work!

Rachael

"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

treasureland's picture

I really appreciate you! Rachael.

Hi Rachael,

There are some organizations in my country that fight corruption, one of such organization is Human Right Information Network (HURINET), Campaign for Democracy, Women Arise for Change Initiative, amongst others. Campaign for Democracy and Women Arise for Change Initiative have been fighting their hearts out against corruption in Nigeria, mobilizing thousands of people to speak against corruption www.womenarise.org .

Some of the things everyday citizens can do is to ;

1. Try to demand for accountability from public office holders. Usually, Nigerians have this as a big challenge, it was some time in 2011 that the freedom of Information bill was passed to law, prior before then, no public office holder or civil servant gives anybody access to some vital information that will help citizens demand accountability not even the civil society organizations could. But with this new law in place, citizens can leverage on it to demand accountability.

2. We the citizens can also make efforts to research on the credibility of individuals with the intentions to vying for public offices before electing them into power. When someone knows that what he/she did in time passed can stand against him during election campaign, the person wouldn't dare come in to power.

3. Citizens can try and keep an eye over each other to ensure things are done right, though the government still has a stake on this because when people know that they are watched, they tend to behave right. Why countries like USA have achieved some level of corruption curbing is because for instance, you are driving and commits a traffic offense and no body chased you and you think you have escaped, definitely the law must catch up with the person even when he least expected and the person will pay for that same traffic offense committed. With such kind of things in place, it will help a great deal.

3. Everyone should be transparent and sincere in doing things knowing that what goes round comes round.

4. Try not to cover mischief, because when someone covers another person's mischievous act, the person will also want that person to cover her/his own evil acts when committed and with such acts, corruption increases.

There are alot of other things everyday citizens can do in other to help curb corruption, though the government has a major stake in ensuring corruption is fought to a stand still, especially when laws are enforced, it helps a great deal..

Juliette Maughan's picture

You got it Right

Hi Ifesinachi,

You made a very powerful statement, which I believe to be true.

"Corruption has been generally accepted as evil and responsible for the nation’s gross underdevelopment."

It is amazing when I read about Nigeria and hear from my friends what a dynamic and rich country it is. Yet the potential of the country is stunted by the corruption. For a long time I almost thought that Nigerians accepted it as the way of life. I am happy to know that people are tired of it all and want change. I look forward to the outcome.

But you also make another point that points to the fact that it happens at every level. Change will come if the people of Nigeria want it to come but I anticipate that it will be a slow, and for the stories regarding the journalists, a very painful process.

J

treasureland's picture

Thanks Juliette for your comment!

Juliette, Nigerians are tired and needs a change. You need to see how Nigerians matched out in their thousands to PROTEST the Fuel Subsidy Removal knowing fully well that the money from the subsidy removal may not be used judiciously.

The issue of corruption is almost at every level though, but when things are put in place all that will change. Nigerians are highly intelligent people and mean well, is just that people are not encouraged to exhibit sincerity. You can imagine being in an organization, immediately you want to exhibit openness, sincerity and accountability, others tend to moo you calling you names like " Holier than thou". But I'm very optimistic, a lot is already changing, people are right now trying hard to do things right.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

Farnoosh Fathi's picture

powerful voice!

Dear treasureland,

Thank you so much for bringing my attention to the various forms of corruption and its innocent victims in Nigeria. I appreciate your focus on women and journalists -- it narrows down the larger topic of corruption to two, specific targeted groups and thereby allows you to persuade us of your argument for change with the relevant statistics and evidence. And since these are the basis of your support, you could begin by declaring your focus on women and journalists in the thesis on corruption itself.
You can bring your strength for focusing on particulars to bear on your solution to the problem of corruption: providing us with equally concrete ideas for how "honesty and integrity, effective leadership and governance, transparency and accountability" can be achieved from the ground-up.

Your voice is full of conviction, intelligence and beauty! And promises change -- thank you so much for your inspiring and important work!

Farnoosh

Farnoosh Fathi

treasureland's picture

Thanks for your comment Dear!

Farnoosh, "honesty and integrity, effective leadership and governance, transparency and accountability" can be achieved if everyone puts hand on deck.

Some of the things individuals and community can do is to ;

1. Try to demand for accountability from public office holders. Usually, Nigerians have this as a big challenge, it was some time in 2011 that the freedom of Information bill was passed to law, prior before then, no public office holder or civil servant gives anybody access to some vital information/ document that will help citizens demand accountability not even the civil society organizations could. But with this new law in place, citizens can leverage on it to demand accountability. In-fact, Civil Society Organization have a platform with which they can work with to demand accountability, though there is still the challenge of assassination when you over demand for information.

2. We the citizens can also make efforts to research on the credibility of individuals with the intentions to vying for public offices before electing them into power. When someone knows that what he/she did in time passed can stand against him during election campaign, the person wouldn't dare come in to power.

3. Citizens can try and keep an eye over each other to ensure things are done right, though the government still has a stake on this because when people know that they are watched, they tend to behave right. Why countries like USA have achieved some level of corruption curbing is because for instance, you are driving and commits a traffic offense and no body chased you and you think you have escaped, definitely the law must catch up with the person even when he least expected and the person will pay for that same traffic offense committed. With such kind of things in place, it will help a great deal.

3. Everyone should be transparent and sincere in doing things knowing that what goes round comes round.

4. Try not to cover mischief, because when someone covers another person's mischievous act, the person will also want that person to cover her/his own evil acts when committed and with such acts, corruption increases.

There are alot of other things everyday citizens can do in other to help curb corruption, though the government has a major stake in ensuring corruption is fought to a stand still, especially when laws are enforced, it helps a great deal..

What the government can do:

• Accountability through transparency (access to information)
• Focus on prevention rather than enforcement
• Raise awareness and expectations of civil society
• Focus on results-oriented service to the public
• Develop the capacity of “Pillars of Integrity” to fight corruption

Educating and involving the public in building integrity is the key to preventing corruption

• Public education and awareness campaigns (radio, news papers, TV);
• Conduct annual broad based national/municipal integrity workshops were all
stakeholders are invited to discuss problems and suggest changes;
• Inform citizens about their rights (Citizens’ Charter); and empower the citizens to
monitor the government through periodic service delivery surveys;
• production and dissemination of a national integrity strategy and an annual corruption
survey at national, municipal and sub-county level;
• production of integrity surveys at the municipal or sub-national level;
• investigative journalism and information by the media; and
• dissemination of the TI Source Book and experiences of other countries in combating
corruption.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

Farnoosh Fathi's picture

thank you!

Wow, Ifesinachi, this is an incredible response--organized, concrete and thorough! These strategies, as you have laid them out, could be used world-wide, not only in Nigeria-- thank you again! I look forward to following more of your beautiful work.

Farnoosh Fathi

Farnoosh, thanks for the comment and I'm happy my response answered your question.
I will be glad to see you follow more of my works.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

Greengirl's picture

Dear treasureland

I feel every word you shared.

It is so sad that in a country so endowed with both human and natural resources, majority remain impoverished because of the nefarious activities of a minority rich but corrupt group. Corruption seems to have woven itself into the very fabric of our society. It is just everywhere, homes, schools, work places, politics, places of worship, public offices etc.I mean every where!

And as you rightly pointed out, women are the worst hit by the high level of corruption, that pervades our nation.

God save our nation from this cancerous canker-worm called corruption!

God bless your effort and clarion call for honesty and integrity, effective leadership and governance, transparency and accountability.

Olanike

Olanike, it's well with our country Nigeria, I look forward to a new Nigeria without corruption and I'm very optimistic that its soon.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

AnjanaP's picture

You have struck a nerve

Dear Ifesinachi,

So vehemently agree with your viewpoint on the impact of corruption on women and the underdog in these countries. The quote that comes to mind is "constant dripping hollows out a stone". As the people in your country slowly and consistently with their actions show they do not accept corruption change will occur. Perhaps the next generation will create the Nigera that those exemplary leaders had envisioned. I have great faith that with the powerful new tools that are available to us these days especially the technology much change can be ignited at a scale that matters.

I am hopeful as I see the same changes happening in India as Stella shared. The youth is intolerant of the leaders who exhibit values that they do not subscribe to and are creating awareness with peaceful protests but with scale and impact.

Your strategies are so clearly articulated and so grounded in core human values of integrity and honesty. Your passion and commitment is clear! Sending you and Nigeria lots of strength and courage to continue on this quest for change.

Look forward to more of your perspectives,

Anjana

treasureland's picture

Thanks Anjana!

Thanks for your comment, I'm very optimistic that change will happen. The young people in Nigeria are taking the bull by it's horn and are doing exploit.

CHEERS

Ifesinachi

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